All believers and most unbelievers know the parable of the prodigal son who returns to the kingdom of his father and is treated like a king because of the forgiveness of his father. The comparison that Jesus made of the rebellious son relates to all mankind. Everyone has sinned and fallen short of the glory of kingdom living. The generosity of the father is the primary image of My kingdom of heaven, but the secondary lesson to be learned from it is the attitude of the good son who never leaves his father. It is a secondary lesson of this parable.
The youngest son asked for his portion of his father's inheritance, received it from his father, gathered it all up and went to a far country where he squandered the entire inheritance. By human standards which are influenced by the devil, that would have been the end of the story, he would have come home and his father and older brother would have said, "That's it, you lost your fortune in riotous living and you will have to pay the price for your frivolous behavior by living in the plants you grew by the seeds you sowed." There would have been no mercy or forgiveness, only judgment from the human father and brother. For them, the father and the brother, that would be the due punishment for living a frivolous life and spending all of his fortune.
My family is different. That is why Jesus told the story of the prodigal son, so that you and all of My children would have an image in your minds of My mercy and forgiveness.
The rebellious son spent his inheritance on wine, women and song, as it is said. In the eyes of his self righteous brother he did neither deserve to be forgiven nor did he deserve to have a fortune returned to him because he had spent his share and that was too bad. You know the story of how the rebellious brother was eventually so down on his luck that he wandered looking for someone to help him get back on top. When a famine came in the country he was more depressed in every way, so he went and joined with a man from that country. That is a true picture of how the devil works, when he gets a person down and dirty, he sends someone with a worse vice to finish off the devil's work in the life of the depressed person. (Luke 15:14-15) The rebellious son went from living like a king to feeding pigs in the field. He would gladly have eaten the pig slop. (Luke 15:16) It came to him one day that his father's servants had enough bread to spare but he was starving. (Luke 15:17)
After coming to his senses and deciding to confess his rebellion to his father, the expectations of the rebellious son upon returning to his father were only that he would be treated like a servant but at least he would have bread to eat. He did not fully know the depth of the love of his father. (Luke 5:18-19)
He went home to his father with low expectations. However, he learned about love, compassion and forgiveness. His father saw him from a distance, ran, embraced him and kissed him. The rebellious son confessed his sins against Me and against his father and genuinely stated that he was no longer worthy to be called his father's son. Instead of doing what the son expected, his father called the servants and told the servants to put the best robe upon the son as a symbol of honor, to put a ring on his finger as a symbol of the son's majesty being restored. The father told the servants to prepare for a great feast of celebration and said that they would eat and be merry because his son that was dead was now truly alive again. he was lost and he was now found. (Luke 15:22-24)
Very often human families do to rebellious children who return home exactly what the rebellious son expected. The families might welcome the child home, but they give ultimatums and rules and regulations that add burdens to the already burdened child. Instead of rejoicing and treating their child with honor, they treat him or her like servants, waiting to make sure that the child is really sorry for his or her sins. Families often demand signs of repentance, making children work for their salvation. In My family, I welcome rebellious children who have been deceived by the devil into following his ways, I welcome them back home to Me with open arms and I restore them to their places of honor in My family. I am able to heap forgiveness, love and compassion upon rebellious children because I know the depth of their despair and the conditions of their hearts.
My self righteous children must have a change of heart and do the same as I do, restore to full honor the people who have been deceived by the devil to follow his ways which the devil made look to them exciting and so much fun. The rebellious ones are deceived just like you have been deceived in many ways. There are no right ones and no wrong ones in My family. There are only ones who have been restored to full honor by the love, mercy and sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
When I put the robe of righteousness upon the shoulders of My restored children who have returned to My kingdom living, I place the power of My Holy Spirit upon them. He gives them the power to refuse the temptational pull of the devil toward rebellious and riotous living. I also give them the rings of My majestic character, which are the keys to My kingdom. They are able to understand the difference between evil temptations and My righteous promptings. I do not condemn and judge them for yielding to the devil. Instead, I give to them the power to be what I desire them to be, joyful, loving, kind, merciful, good, patient and peaceful in the earth to people and I give them the power to defeat the works of the devil in their lives.
There is no punishment from Me for the riotous living. Being separated from Me and My family was the devil's punishment for following him, and it was hell on earth. That was the reason for his temptation for My child to follow his evil ways, to punish the child and to punish Me for casting the devil out of My kingdom. The devil's desire is to punish Me through his punishment of My children. My ways to overcome the devil's plan is to always welcome My children back into My family and into the riches of My family in kingdom living. The gates of hell cannot prevail against a child who has been restored to Me, has received My Holy Spirit's robe of righteousness, and who knows the temptations of the devil are to separate him from Me and My family benefits.
Your joy at being My child is to restore others to My kingdom benefits by telling them about My love, My peace, My goodness and kindness toward them. Restoring them is My job and My joy.
Your Father of Mercy and Forgiveness